Mar 14, 2009

Jan Opalach

Jan Opalach, whose voice has been described as "lyric," "flexible," and "displays a wonderful variety of color," is one of America's most versatile performers on the operatic stage today, combining serious musicianship with excellent acting skills.

Mr. Opalach has been a regular guest of the New York City Opera since 1980. Among the many roles he has performed during his long association there, are Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia,  Sancho Panza in Don Quichotte. He has appeared as Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, a new production directed by Jonathan Miller and as Lotario in Chas Rader-Scheiber's charming production of Handel's comedy Flavio. In the Spring of 2008, Mr. Opalach had critically acclaimed performances in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff with the company. In July of this year, he will be heard in the title role of Don Pasquale for PortOpera (ME).

He has also appeared with the Seattle Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Portland (OR) Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. Elsewhere, he has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Atlanta Opera and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. He has also achieved international recognition, appearing with the Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Netherlands Opera, Scottish Opera, Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and Sweden's Drottningholm Royal Court Theater.

Mr. Opalach has sung with the acclaimed orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle, and the National Symphony. Among the many conductors with whom he has collaborated are Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Gunther Herbig, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Roger Norrington, Christof Perick, Sir Simon Rattle, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman.

A winner of the prestigious Walter M. Naumburg Vocal Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, and the International Vocalisten Concours of s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, as well as the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Soloist Recital Grant, he is also busy with an active career as a recitalist. He was invited to be the featured recitalist at the 2006 National Association of Teachers of Singing Convention in Minneapolis, MN.  Notable recital venues in which he has appeared include Alice Tully Hall, Ambassador Auditorium (Pasadena), the Library of Congress, Harvard University, and the Morgan Library (NYC). In addition, he collaborates with many new music ensembles, including Speculum Musicae, Continuum, Parnassus, and the American Composers Orchestra.

Mr. Opalach has recorded for a numerous labels including Argo, Bridge, CRI, Decca, Delos, EMI, Koch International, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Vox Unique. Works recorded include Igor Stravinsky's Renard/Pulcinella (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Hugh Wolff), Solo Cantatas 56, 82, 158 by J.S. Bach (Bach Ensemble; Joshua Rifkin), Stefan Wolpe's Quintet with Voice, Elliot Carter's Syringa (Speculum Musicae), Robert Beaser's Seven Deadly Sins (Premiere Recording, American Composers Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies), G.F.Handel's Acis and Galatea (Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz), Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Kernis' Mourning Song, and an CD of selected lieder by Franz Schubert